Three vases of flowers were sitting on the altar when I got to church this morning. Most churches here have the tradition of giving flowers to those members of the congregation that have something to celebrate or to mourn: a 50th anniversary, a death in the family, a medical condition. In the church I came from, in Groningen, the flowers were always for the old members. It was rare anyone under 60 got them.
Well, guess who got one of those bunches? Yup, me. I just joined this church, and this week the flowers were for the three students that had joined this summer. Our names were called, and we were supposed to stand up so the congregation could see who we were. I was the only student actually present in the church this morning, so I got to be stared at by myself. Later, they let me choose the bunch I liked most, so I ended up with yellow roses. That, and the fact that half the congregation came over to shake my hand, made me feel really welcomed.
I’m glad I resisted the temptation to stay in bed this morning!